Whether you’re planning a destination wedding in New Zealand or organising your celebration close to home, you’re spoilt for choice in the South Island. The land of the long white cloud really does make for a picture-perfect backdrop for your big day and promises to deliver dreams of all shapes and sizes.
Before you get too carried away in an Instagram hole of décor ideas or menu suggestions, it’s important to start at the start. The first step in wedding planning (obviously after you’ve put a ring on it!) is to settle on a location.
In the South Island, you’re never too far away from the ocean or the hinterland, and you’ve got every type of landscape in between too. From vineyards and gardens to hilltops and city venues, your biggest struggle will probably be narrowing the list down.
We’ve been around long enough to see our fair share of weddings in NZ, so we like to think we’ve got a pretty good handle on what’s hot – and what’s not. To save you the effort of doing all the research yourself, the party planning team at Wicked Stag have rounded up our top five favourite wedding venues around New Zealand’s south island.
Top Five New Zealand South Island Wedding Venues
Ask anyone that’s been to Queenstown about Skyline, and they will probably tell you about the incredible gondola, the adrenaline-packed luge ride or the range of other thrill-seeking activities on offer. While action-packed fun is something Skyline does astonishingly well, it also doubles as a picture-perfect place to tie the knot.
The wedding team behind this venue are as dedicated to your big day as your mother-in-law. These experienced and friendly consultants will help you bring your vision to life, assisting with everything from menu selections to photo locations. They can also hook you up with some sweet deals for plenty of additional services such as table centrepieces, booking entertainment and facilitating the ceremony. Obviously, this is all in addition to the incredible view from this breath-taking location!
Location: Brecon Street, Queenstown
Experience the magic of Lake Hayes with an unforgettable wedding at Stoneridge Estate. This luxury venue and boutique vineyard is just fifteen minutes from the Queenstown CBD but feels a world away.
Tucked away on the shores of Lake Hayes, you can exchange vows in the tranquil Chapel by the Lake or the stunning gardens, before retreating to one of three stunning venues for your reception. The on-site catering team provide an exquisite range of menu options, and each package includes a selection of signature wines hand-picked on the estate. To really make an impression, you can also elope by helicopter and wed intimately with a romantic mountaintop ceremony for just the two of you. The options are endless!
Location: 756 Lake Hayes, Arrow Junction Highway, RD1, Queenstown
If you’re after the ultimate Kiwi venue, look no further than NZ High Country. This stunning property offers four unique locations to wed, with each as spectacular as the last. Three of the sites are considered land-only, which practically means they are a blank canvas for you to bring your vision to life.
The fourth site is Lake June which boasts a premium marquee, with floor-to-ceiling glass walls and incredible views across the rolling green hills. The team of event managers are dedicated to guiding you through every step of the process and will ensure your day is exactly as you imagine it.
Location: Hansen Road, Queenstown
The only way to describe Waipuna Estate is magical. Set in beautiful gardens and native bush, this venue is equal parts romantic and sophisticated. The site offers two mesmerising locations to tie the knot. The covered terrace is surrounded by rustic gardens and positioned for views across Christchurch and the Canterbury Plains.
The lawn area sits alongside an orchard of fruit trees, giving it an earthy and welcoming ambience. This grassed area boasts stunning views towards the Southern Alps, which is an ideal backdrop during the cooler months of the year when the peaks are dusted with snow. The wedding planning team will also work with you to build a menu that suits your taste and budget, as well as help with the bookings for all other contractors.
Location: 131 Gerkin Road, Tai Tapu, Christchurch
Located in the city’s Botanic Gardens, Ilex Events is a hidden oasis in the heart of the Christchurch. This bespoke venue offers something truly spectacular, with access to five unique ceremony locations throughout the gardens, a private reception space and plenty of sun-drenched spaces.
You also have the option of hosting your ceremony and party in Townsend and Cunningham houses. These conservatories have been transformed into garden sanctuaries and are now home to banana palms and plenty of other exotic plants. It’s something you really will not find anywhere else in the city.
Location: Christchurch Botanic Gardens, Christchurch Central